One of three former students who said they were molested by a former Stadium High School security guard and convicted sex offender is suing Tacoma Public Schools.
Donte D. Lipscomb admitted having sex with three female students from 2010 to 2012, and he pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree sexual misconduct in 2013. He was sentenced to four years in prison.
One of the victims sued the school district May 8, claiming the district was negligent when it transferred Lipscomb to Stadium after disciplining him for misbehavior at his former post at Oakland High School.
School district records show Lipscomb was suspended without pay from his Oakland job for three days in 2009 after he gave a student a ride home without permission from the girl’s parents and without reporting it to the school. While not illegal, Lipscomb’s actions were a violation of district policy.
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“In lieu of discharging Mr. Lipscomb, the district simply reassigned him from his current assignment to Stadium,” the lawsuit charges. It also says that many of the sexual acts occurred on school grounds and in the security guard office.
The lawsuit says the district was negligent in Lipscomb’s hiring, supervision and retention, and asks for damages in an amount to be determined at trial and other costs.
School district attorney Shannon McMinimee said Lipscomb’s suspension at Oakland was a serious consequence, especially for a first-time offense. She said the district would not have been able to fire Lipscomb at that time because he had no other disciplinary issues.
McMinimee said the district chose to transfer Lipscomb away from the alternative high school, where he was the sole security guard, and place him at Stadium, where there were more guards on duty.
But she said that the district could not have predicted his subsequent acts.
“This is an unfortunate circumstance, but not one which was reasonably foreseeable,” McMinimee said.